December 3, 2010


World comes to Emory in Global Classroom

The IT-based interactive Global Classroom course allows students to participate in collective assignments and co-learning processes.

Solving the world's problems will require an interdisciplinary approach, the focus of Emory's new Master's in Development Practice program.

The Global Classroom, an interactive environment where students in the master's program meet virtually in real time, provides one of the cornerstones of the curriculum, says David Nugent, professor of anthropology and director of MDP.

Prior to the class, students watch a pre-lecture video to familiarize themselves with the week's topic, which has included climate change, water, agriculture and nutrition. They also do a set of readings relevant to each topic.

For Emory students, the Global Classroom meets in Emory's Center for Interactive Teaching, where the equipment for a global telecast is located. Speakers have included Nobel Prize winners and other experts in their fields of study. Students then can ask questions and interact with the speaker and with each other via telecast.

"The technology allows conversations and debates to take place among the 20 universities that have launched the program," Nugent says. "We all have our own perspectives, but we are part of the same conversation."

Global class

During a recent look at deforestation in Madagascar, Global Classroom students were able to interact with students in that country, connecting with them directly to ask questions. They were able to learn about the dilemmas surrounding deforestation in Madagascar from people who have an insider's perspective on these problems.

This interaction provided Emory students with insights that are not available from conventional sources.

"It's really neat to see people from around the world," says graduate student Miranda Bodfish of the Global Classroom, held each fall.

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